Man guilty of dangerous driving after high speed  chase

Court hears car was driven at speed from gardaí before three young men jumped out and ran
Man guilty of dangerous driving after high speed  chase

A Volkswagen Golf was driven at speed from gardaí in a patrol car despite the activation of blue lights and siren and it went through red lights and across a green area in a housing estate before three young men jumped out and ran. Picture: Wanderley Massafelli/Photocall Ireland

A Volkswagen Golf was driven at speed from gardaí in a patrol car despite the activation of blue lights and siren and it went through red lights and across a green area in a housing estate before three young men jumped out and ran.

Michel Pietrzyk of Elderwood Avenue, Boreenmanna Road, Cork, pleaded guilty to charges including three counts of dangerous driving, not having a licence and having no insurance at Cork District Court.

He also admitted handling a stolen bicycle on another occasion and engaging in threatening words or behaviour during a third incident.

Sergeant John Kelleher said yesterday, “On July 12, 2019, Sgt Niall Hayes saw a Volkswagen Golf on Ballinlough Road driving at excess speed, veering across two lanes. Sgt Hayes activated blue lights and siren but it took off at speed towards Blackrock.

“It turned on to Well Road towards Douglas and sped through red lights at Douglas Road.

“The car continued through Douglas up to Donnybrook Hill and on to the wrong side of the road through the junction and around the corner on to Grange Road.

“It then went on to Old Airport Road, on to Donnybrook Hill and into Bracken Court where it mounted a kerb and drove across a green area within the estate.

“Back on the road it stopped suddenly and three males fled the car.” Michel Pietrzyk admitted he did not have a licence or insurance either. He was identified as the driver having fled from the driver’s seat.

On June 6, 2019, he was caught after selling a stolen mountain bike and in the first incident in time, he came to the attention of gardaí on May 15 last year at Douglas Road. He was informed he was being searched for drugs (none were found) and he became hostile and said to the guard, “This is a f***ing joke. You are just using your f***ing power.”

Eddie Burke, defence solicitor, said the young man was only 18 at the time of the offences. Now 19, he has not come to the attention of gardaí since these incidents.

Mr Burke said in relation to the driving escapade there was an element of panic, combined with the effect of two other young men in the car shouting, “Go, go, go.” Mr Burke said the defence accepted, “It was only by the grace of God no one was killed or hurt.” 

Judge Olann Kelleher said the young man was facing jail today particularly as he had not co-operated with the probation service previously. Asked if he would do so now if given a second chance, Pietrzyk said, “Yes, 100%.” Judge Kelleher put sentencing back until October 20 for that purpose.

“If you miss one appointment you are signing yourself in to Cork Prison,” the judge warned.

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